Take My Hand. Let Me Show You The Way…

This article is primarily for those who are moving to Atlanta from out of state. Atlanta is a growing city with a low cost of living. As a realtor who moved to the Atlanta area from out of state, I feel like I have a unique perspective on both the outside looking in and from the inside looking out. Here are my 3 tips for things you should consider when moving to Atlanta.

So You’ve Decided That You Are Moving To Atlanta

Great…now what? If there is one thing I hate about articles like this is how they take forever to get to the point or assume that the local restaurant selection is my top priority. Here’s the quick and easy. When I say “Atlanta”, I’m actually referring to the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. Think of the metro area as a 30 mile range, in any direction, starting from downtown. Some would argue that it is larger than that but you get the point.

285 map

Atlanta is surrounded by an interstate freeway called 285. Everything within 285 is called “In the perimeter”. Interstate 285 contains the city of Atlanta with a few smaller cities overlapping. Everything outside of 285 is “outside the perimeter”. There are mostly suburban cities outside of 285 and where you’ll find the best schools, best home values and quieter communities. You know yourself better than me so be sure to read my articles on communities within the perimeter and outside the perimeter for more details.

Where Are The Jobs / Corporate Areas

In a post-COVID19 world, being close to your job is much less of a factor when choosing where to live. It may be wishful thinking but I do not think this lasts forever. Depending on your field, it may be best to find a home near corporate hot spots. These areas include Marietta, Downtown Atlanta, and Alpharetta.

Marietta is a city in Cobb County. This is a county northwest of downtown Atlanta. The surrounding cities of Smyrna, Vinings, Marietta, Kennesaw or Roswell would make great selections when moving to Atlanta.

Downtown Atlanta, comprised of mostly Fulton and Dekalb counties, is the obvious choice for corporate headquarters. There are actually a few very upscale neighborhoods near downtown. If you hate commuting, you’ll find that Atlanta’s traffic isn’t much better than major commuter cities like LA or Houston. Perhaps you’ll want to stay in-town. Before moving to Atlanta, ask me about the best bang-for-buck areas in the heart of the city.

Alpharetta is a city in Fulton County. This is easily one of the nicest areas in town and possibly the most expensive. If your job is in Alpharetta, there are affordable homes in areas like Suwanee, Duluth, Norcross or Peachtree Corners. The commute is mostly surface streets, as well.

Best Schools

Moving to Atlanta - Parkview MarqueeWhile there are great schools all over Atlanta, I think you’ll find the best concentration of schools outside of the perimeter in the suburban communities. Areas like Suwanee, Alpharetta, Lawrenceville, Marietta, or Kennesaw make for great starting spots when looking for the top schools. Visit GreatSchools.org for searching schools in the area you have selected. Keep in mind, as your realtor, I can help you isolate the best school districts for specific areas. This will help you be sure that you are choosing a home in the school district that’s best for your family. It is a delicate balance between good value and good schooling. Moving to Atlanta can be easy with a little help.

Best Value Areas

If you are renting, you may want to take a look at Rent Jungle. It’s a site that breaks down the average rent in particular neighborhoods. With an average rent of $1703, Atlanta is seeing a 1% growth in rent prices year over year. If you are moving to Atlanta from a larger city like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, these prices are great since you can find a lovely 3-4 bedroom home with a $1700/month budget. If you want to live downtown, $1700 would get you pretty much any 1 bedroom apartment. If you are on a budget, a decent place can be had for as low as $1,000 [as of November 2020].

If you are buying, you really have a ton of options. Moving to Atlanta from a bigger city seems like the land of abundance. If you are reading this article, you probably already know that but it’s a whole different story when you are here looking. It ultimately comes down to how far you want to live from the city. You can live in a 3,000 square foot home for under $300,000 if you don’t mind a commute. Or, you can find a beautiful 4 bedroom starter home for $205,000. It’s hard to gauge true value because it is subjective but living outside of the perimeter will net you the best bang for buck. Please reach out if you would like a personalized search.

Bonus Tip

Study your target neighborhood using Esri’s Tapestry.

Moving to Atlanta - Tapestry Stats - Atlanta

As you can see, it will show you all the nuanced details of the neighborhood you choose [search by zip code] when moving to Atlanta.